Make an estimate on how long my car will last



The demise of the car is already here. The car is an 85 year old man with heart disease, cancer, and worn out hips.

The poster describes body rust that has been patched, but rust never sleeps and once it gets to the body it continues to grow. The strut in the photo is blown as evidenced by being covered in oil and is likely no longer damping vertical movement. The power steering is noisy. Not to mention the inside of that engine.

Sure, the car may last a couple of years if driven gently. The owner may have some sentimental value of the car that may make it worth spending thousands of dollars. Barring that, any money spent on this car would be better used toward replacing it, when that time inevitably comes.


If that is the case, you are setting yourself up for a possible road rage incident. You don’t need to drive like a NASCAR driver but you should at least keep up with traffic and not cause problems.

Just curious , what is your age ?


I have a 1997 F-250 light duty. This is one of those oddballs with the 7 lug rims. I thought I was getting a deal of course but found all kinds of problems. Rust was one of them. I ended up using a wire brush in areas I could get at followed by a pressure washer. I just used the pressure washer where access was harder. I used the Rust-Oleum rusty metal primer after this. I let this dry and then filled the holes with seam sealer, then coated the whole mess with spray on bed liner.

I figured it would rust right back through but this seems to be working pretty well and none of the fixes have failed. I am sure some other area will rust out and figure rust will be the end of this truck. It is my rough hauler for firewood, scrap metal, etc. as well as my winter beater. It was definitely not one that I would spend a dime on at the body shop but figure I have extended its life some which is all I care about for my uses. This truck had been neglected and the oil was black but it at least looked like oil and not tar.


I also prefer to let the car accelerate gradually, so the transmission can shift through all the gears and minimize wear. Annoying other people who would prefer that I “floor it” isn’t my concern. Getting 20+ years out of the transmission is my concern. And when I let down the transmission pan to change the fluid and filter, and see little or no wear particles, then I know that driving sensibly really does prolong its life.


In all seriousness, even when a vehicle is being driven gently the entire car is being subjected to countless forces and pressures.

Meaning body flex, oil pressure, combustion chamber pressures, stress in the drivetrain, brake fluid pressures, and on and on and on…

Change the oil (not that it matters much…) and drive it to the end while preferably not traveling too far from home. AAA membership might help…


150,000 miles? That’s not much for modern cars. I think yours still has some life left in it. I wouldn’t throw in the towel for at least 50K more miles. Keep on top of the routine maintenance and do another assessment then. For that gunk build-up , maybe run full synthetic oil for a while, changing the oil and filter every 1,000 to 2,000 miles, see if that helps.


How often have you changed your oil ?? Certainly not often enough…But I have seen worse… Do a compression test. if it checks out, keep driving it. It’s paid for…


Well I am the fourth owner, and have tried to change the oil by at least 5000km. when I bought the car it had 164000km

I did run seafoam approximately two years ago.


In a nutshell, how does seafoam work? Does it liquefy the carbon? ( Or whatever it is ) o just don’t want chunks of stuff blocking up the tiny oil passages as you mentioned.


I did the right strut, not sure if I should do the left or just sell the strut I bought from the auto store



If I’m seeing that picture correctly, you are showing a rust hole through the body near where the motor mount holds the engine in the car.

If that is indeed the case I wouldn’t put another dime into the car for anything other than gas and topping off the oil. And the first time anything broke I would haul it to the scrapyard.


I think the fact that this engine still runs is quite a tribute to Mazda.


Struts should always be replaced in pairs.


I’m in agreement with asemaster. The strut tower has a hole rotted clean through it and odds are a close inspection would reveal both towers to be in far worse shape than they appear to be in the pictures.

No telling what it’s like in the rear quarters and rear suspension.


Yep, the end is near. I’m not sure I would put any more gas in it than is needed to get it to the salvage yard. Catastrophic failure of that area could be, well, catastrophic.


To put things into human terms, the OP’s car has atherosclerosis, cancer, and osteoporosis.
With that combination of conditions, the prognosis is very poor.


The only transmission I have that hasn’t lasted 20 years is the one on the car that’s only 11 years old. I do not drive like Grandma. You aren’t going to kill the transmission just because you accelerate to keep up with traffic. We aren’t saying you need to street-race, we’re saying don’t drive so slow that you’re dangerous.

I agree with @asemaster and @ok4450 and the others who have said not to put any money at all into the car beyond gas. Any time you think the car needs work done to it, but it still runs, take that money and put it in a savings account for the downpayment on the next car. This thing is too far gone - any repair money you put into it is just taking money away from the car that you will inevitably have to replace it with.


If it’s not carbon :arrow_right: what is it?


Not even a cheap can of rust protection? ( From getting worse)